Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Attendre, Attendre, Attendre

Waiting for the bus

So, having spent so long sheltering at a bus stop in Saint-Savin yesterday, today I marched confidently to one in Poitiers with a fist full of Euro cents ready to catch the Ligne 1 to Futuroscope. I had checked the bus routes carefully, found the appropriate bus stop on Google Streetview and confirmed the exact timetable on the operator's website. To allay any concerns I might have still had, the bus shelter was packed with locals also expectantly waiting for the 9:07.

So by 9:32, we were starting to get a bit tetchy. A breathless woman bustled past spouting some very quick French that prompted my peers to dig out their mobile phones. Some began to slowly drift off, some jumped on the Ligne 2B that came soon after. I decided to sit it out.

A young girl approached the bus stop and sat next to me. We did the only thing you can do in this situation in polite society: avoided all eye contact with one another and stared intently at our phones (even though mine is pretty much defunct outside of WiFi hotspots).

After 10 minutes or so the girl asked me whether I was waiting for the Ligne 1 and I answered that yes I was, and that I had been for over an hour, and that I suspected there was a problem. The girl then got onto the bus operator's website via her smart phone and found some news:

Apparently there had been an 'accident' the night before, which meant all Ligne 1 buses were cancelled for the whole day. I later found out that the 'accident' had been a bus driver's suicide. Which is undoubtedly tragic and deserves some human respect. I'd still like to see anyone cancel an entire bus route in London and get away with it.

Another town, another bus stop

Anyway, since that's the only bus to go to Futuroscope, I was forced to spend another 20 Euros of unplanned budget on a taxi. But I got there in the end and I'll tell you all about it on another post.

Waiting for Repairs

Of course the only reason I'm here in the first place is that my poor old campervan is still sitting in a Citroen garage near Limoges. In yesterday's episode we learned that the garage were ordering a replacement ignition switch.

Well today we learned that by 'ordering' they in fact meant 'requesting from a supplier'. The supplier does not stock VW campervan ignition switches as standard, so after the request is made they have to wait for it to become available. Then, 48 hours after it becomes available, the Citroen mechanics have it in their grubby little paws and may or may not proceed to instal it. I asked whether I could assist in the search for a part, having a good number of contacts in the VW world, but was told that I wouldn't be allowed to supply a part unless Citroen failed. Which seems a bit bonkers to me - what if I actually had the spare part with me, would they still not be allowed to use it?

Anyway, the theme is clear: there's a fair wait yet.

Thankfully, now that we know there's waiting ahead, the RAC have agreed to put me on a train to the South of France so I can at least get there in time to catch my flight back to the UK (and on to Japan). I don't have a lot of 'stuff' with me, having only packed a weekend bag out of the campervan, but that's a problem easily resolved when you're staying with family!

So tonight is all about waiting for tomorrow, then tomorrow will be all about boarding trains and waiting for them to arrive. Good job I've got an iPod... now let's just wait for it to sync...

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